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Media Advisory

Rhode Island-Based Jobs up 900 from March; April Unemployment Rate Remains at 4.5 Percent (pdf)

May 17, 2018


The RI Department of Labor and Training announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April 2018 was 4.5 percent, unchanged from the March rate of 4.5 percent. Over the year, the unemployment rate is up one-tenth of a percentage point from the April 2017 rate of 4.4 percent.


RI Unemployment Rate
US Unemployment Rate
RI Job Count (in thousands)

Apr. 2018


Mar. 2017


Apr. 2017



The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in April 2018, down two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and down half of a percentage point over the year.

The number of unemployed RI residents — those residents classified as available for and actively seeking employment —was 25,100, down 200 from March. Over the year, the number of unemployed increased by 800.

A total of 10,914 individuals collected Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in April 2018 *, down from 11,167 a year ago. This month, UI claimants accounted for 48.8 percent of the total unemployed.

The number of employed RI residents was 533,700, an increase of 1,000 from the March figure of 532,700. Over the year, the number of employed RI residents was up 4,800 from April 2017 (528,900).

The RI labor force totaled 558,900 in April 2018, up 900 from March 2018 and up 5,600 from April 2017 (553,300). 


Estimated nonfarm payroll in Rhode Island totaled 499,300 in April, reflecting a gain of 900 jobs from the revised March estimate of 498,400. The number of Rhode Island based jobs are up 7,200 from April 2017.

The Manufacturing sector added 400 jobs in April, ending three consecutive months of job declines. Over the year, the number of Manufacturing jobs is up 1,200. The Financial Activities sector also added 400 jobs in April, its first job gain since December 2017. Employment in Financial Activities is up 1,000 from a year ago.

An increase of 300 jobs was reported in the Health Care & Social Assistance sector, erasing the 200-job decline reported in March. The number of jobs within this sector is up 1,600 from April 2017.

The Arts, Entertainment & Recreation and Educational Services sectors each added 200 jobs in April. Employment in Arts, Entertainment & Recreation is up 100 from a year ago, while Educational Services employment is down 700 from April 2017.

Lastly, an increase of 100 jobs was reported in the Information, Retail Trade and Professional & Business Services sectors. Employment in both the Information and Retail Trade sectors is down 100 over the year, while the Professional & Business Services sector employment is up 2,800 jobs from April 2017.

Offsetting some of the April job gains was a loss of 300 jobs reported in both the Government and Wholesale Trade sectors. The decline in Wholesale Trade ends three consecutive months of job gains within the sector. Over the year, employment in Wholesale Trade is down 300, while Government employment is up 100.

Construction sector employment fell by 200 in April, however, jobs are up 200 from a year ago.

Finally, the Transportation & Utilities sector reported a loss of 100 jobs in April. Transportation & Utilities employment is up 200 from April 2017.

Employment in the Other Services and Accommodation & Food Services sectors was unchanged from March, but up 700 and 500, respectively, from April 2017. Mining & Logging employment remained unchanged over the month and unchanged over the year.

MANUFACTURING: In April 2018, production workers in the Manufacturing sector earned $18.88 per hour, down fifty-seven cents from March 2018, and down seven cents from April 2017.

Manufacturing employees worked an average of 41.9 hours per week in April, up three and four-tenths hours over the month, and up two and four-tenths hours from a year ago.



METHODOLOGY: The unemployment figures are based largely on a survey of households in Rhode Island and measure the unemployment status of people who live in the state. Unemployment rates prior to 1976 are not recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as official since the methodology used at that time is not comparable to today’s methods. The establishment of employment figures is derived from a survey of businesses in Rhode Island and measures the number of jobs in the state. Rhode Island labor market information is available at www.dlt.ri.gov/lmi. Additional information on procedures for producing Current Employment Statistics (CES) estimates is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/sae/cesprocs.htm BLS will be releasing all states’ April labor force data and job counts on May 18, 2018. DLT is scheduled to release the May 2018 labor force figures and job counts on Thursday, June 14, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.



ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunities to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov

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